ICAN’s Attorneys Secure Exemption for Air Force Service Members’ Children

Recently, a husband and wife who were both Air Force service members requested a religious exemption from vaccination for their children so that they could attend on-base daycare activities. The Air Force denied their request and one of their children was set to be kicked out of the center within a week.

Lead Counsel, Aaron Siri, Esq. lays out the details here:

After the service members reached out to ICAN attorneys, immediate action was taken to ensure that the Air Force understood their requirement to abide by Department of Defense policy and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). Attorneys worked with the parents to submit an appeal requesting reconsideration of the initial decision. Less than a week after it was submitted, their appeal was granted, and their children can now attend on-base daycare while having their religious freedoms honored.

ICAN’s goal was to not only help this family but remind the Department of Defense of its duty to respect the First Amendment and the rights of service members. As Department of Defense Instruction (DoDI) 1300.17 1.2. e. states “DoD Components will normally accommodate practices of a Service member based on sincerely held religious belief ….” Further, the RFRA requires the government to make these determinations using a case-by-case analysis, and not a generalized assessment.

When reminded of these regulations and laws by ICAN’s attorneys, the Air Force reversed the denial. Every success is celebrated by ICAN, but it is especially gratifying when we are able to assist our United States military members and help defend their rights. And we hope the Department of Defense has learned that it cannot violate the religious freedoms of its service members with impunity.

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See below for more of ICAN’s work protecting religious freedom: